By Tori Rodgers
Dr. Greg Miller became the Interim Provost in June; as of October, he has formally taken on the full role of the Provost.
“Our former Provost, Dr. Nate Phinney, left Malone to take a position closer to his home area growing up in Iowa,” Miller said. “That created the need for someone to step into the position on an interim basis.”
Dr. David King, president of Malone, chose Dr. Miller because he believed he was the right person for the interim position in the moment. Malone needed someone to continue doing the things we were doing and to carry on that momentum. It also gave time to search for a permanent candidate and to ensure that the right decision was made.
“At the end of that search, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be in this role permanently and so did the president and faculty leadership,” Miller said.
It is Dr. Miller’s 20th year at Malone as a professor of history. Now, he has become the chief academic officer as the newest Provost.
“I am the vice president responsible for all academic affairs; everything having to do with courses, teaching, and learning at Malone,” Miller said. “In addition, I am the vice president responsible for athletics.”
Already, he has big plans for Malone’s future and the heights it could go.
“My vision is for us to have quality programs across a range of disciplines that can prepare men and women to serve [the] church community and world,” Miller said. “Ultimately, for us to become the center for Christian education for all of northeastern Ohio.”
“We need to remain small in the sense of a community; where people know each other and take care of one another,” Miller said. “Where professors know all of the students by name… Where you are treated and respected as an individual for your unique God given gifts and talents.”
Marina Rarick, a senior integrated social studies and history major, has taken a class with Dr. Miller at least once every year. She appreciates the close relationship often forged with professors due to the community-oriented atmosphere; specifically Dr. Miller.
Rarick describes him as available, open, empathetic and grounding; someone essentially perfect for the role of Provost. She believes he has done very well handling the recent rumors and issues with the budget, among other things.
“I’m so glad that he got this position,” Rarick said. “If there was anybody I would think that would step up and do as good of a job, it’s him… He is absolutely forthcoming with his faith and how he sees this as an opportunity to grow for Malone, but he does not discount the loss of things in the budget.”
Dr. Miller has always been a professor to rely on for Rarick, even as a first year student.
“I still remember stuff that he said to me my freshman year when I was going through hard times,” Rarick said. “I was meeting in his office and he prayed for me, and I still hold those. Those are probably the lessons I take more from college than any class.”
Dr. Miller wants students to have that genuine takeaway that transcends traditional education; he wants the university to engage problems head-on.
“We’re not the kind of Christian university that is fearful of tackling hard questions,” Miller said. “Hard questions, but [still a] safe space and seriously Christian: this is a vision for a kind of education that is different.”
“Because we are small and private, we can be innovative,” Miller said. “I’ll be interested in leading our faculty to think about really creative, maybe even outside of the box, ideas that can make our education even better.”
Dr. Jay Case, professor of history, has been at Malone for just longer than Dr. Miller and has experienced his drive for better education. They are both a part of the history, philosophy, and social sciences (HPSS) department and have had their offices near each other for years. The two are good friends.
“I’ve learned a lot from him,” Case said. “He’s such a good colleague; [he’s] very helpful. We talk a lot about teaching and about history classes and what we’re doing… That really helps our teaching.”
As Dr. Miller has been and will potentially continue to be a professor himself, he understands the challenges and motivations of the job.
“He’s very, very good at helping to articulate and inspire faculty in terms of what it is that we’re supposed to be doing,” Case said. “Or what’s the biggest goal here in terms of who we are, not just as faculty, but who we are at Malone and what we should be striving for.”
In the department, some of Dr. Miller’s courses have been taken over by other HPSS professors or are not to be offered at all, partially influenced by the aforementioned budget cuts.
“We miss him in the department, but I’m really very happy that he’s in this position because I think that he is the right person for this job at this particular point in time,” Case said. “I’m confident in his abilities, his gifts and his love for Malone will bring some very good decisions.”
Dr. Miller appreciates the support he has received in this process and hopes to achieve great things in God’s will.
“I believe in God’s call for me right now here in this role,” Miller said. “I am honored to have been given this opportunity and I will do everything I can to serve this institution as best I can.”